Droves of people celebrated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl LV win Sunday night, flouting local public health precautions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Tom Brady led the Florida team to victory over the Kansas City Chiefs with a score of 31-9 on their home turf at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The win marked the seventh Super Bowl ring for Brady, 43, and the Buccaneers' second-ever Super Bowl win (they previously won back in January 2003).
Immediately following the big game, thousands of fans swarmed the streets, celebrating in a large, mostly mask-less mob despite protocols put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to The Washington Post, revelers were seen jumping on cars, waving flags, hugging each other and breaking social distancing measures. Someone climbed a tree as onlookers observed, the outlet reported, as even more partiers came from local bars to line the streets in celebration.
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Following the game, Kansas City's mayor, Quinton Lucas, congratulated Tampa mayor Jane Castor and "the good people of Tampa" on the win, adding acknowledgements to "@TampaPD @TampaFireRescue and all front line workers and staff for their hard work and hospitality. Enjoy the barbecue."
Castor replied on Twitter: "It was an honor having you, the @Chiefs, and all the great Kansas City fans in our City! Thanks for a great game!"
In a statement to WUSF about Super Bowl party crowds, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said, "We have to be responsible. Government is trying to keep the economy running, but at the same time we're trying to keep the virus in check. But we need people to just cooperate and think this through."
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Mayor Castor said in a press conference earlier on Sunday, "We've done so well in putting on a safe Super Bowl, when we do win tonight, I just want to keep safety at the forefront of everyone's minds. Celebrate, but do it safely. Simply wear a mask."
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